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Essay about The Death Penalty: A Discussion on Its Pros and Cons

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The death penalty, a constant source of controversy and divided opinion, is the punishment of death given to criminals who commit severe crimes. As the severity of crimes that attract the death penalty is debatable, so is its correctness and effectiveness. The justice system is based upon punishment for crimes committed with emphasis on the punishment fitting the crime. Countries such as China and Singapore have used it to punish drug traffickers and therefore fuelled debate on how fitting the punishment is in such cases. For all it aims to achieve, the death penalty has well documented weaknesses, not least of which is its brutality and finality, and it is these frailties that lead to the calls for its abolishment. The death penalty is inhumane, wrongly applied and completely unjustifiable irrespective of the crime. Life imprisonment without parole or pardon achieves all that the death penalty seeks to achieve without costing the society its moral standing.
The human right to life is sacred and the constitution protects this right. Is it not ironic that the justice system based on the constitution should therefore seek to end life? One in support of the death penalty could argue that when a person takes a life, then they lose their right to life. That argument would be flawed because the justice system would be doing the same thing it is punishing the criminal for. It is also brutal and as Albert Camus claimed, “An execution is not simply death. For there to be an equivalency, the death penalty would have to punish a criminal who had warned his victim of the date at which he would inflict a horrible death on him and who, from that moment on, had confined him at his mercy for months. Such a monster is not encountered in private l...


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...more consistent with the moral values that the society should aim to uphold, revenge not being one of them. Life imprisonment without parole is such a punishment.



Works Cited
“Capital Punishment Debate”. Capital punishment debate – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.16 December, 2011. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 18 December, 2011 .
“Death Penalty Arguments & Internet Resources.” Death Penalty Arguments & Resources. 25 June, 2003. North Carolina Wesleyan College. 18 December, 2011 < http://faculty.ncwc.edu/mstevens/410/410lect26.htm/>.
Messerli, Joe. “Should the Death Penalty Be Banned As a Form Of Punishment?”. BalancedPolitics.org – Death Penalty (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages). 19 November, 2011. 18 December, 2011 .


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